TOTAL Human Footprint:
The Mineable Oil Sands Region (Mineable Region) as identified by the Government of Alberta is an area of approximately 4,800 km2 located north of Fort McMurray where surface mining of oil sands occurs. This region contains 20% of the Athabasca Oil Sand Area’s bitumen deposits. Surface mining is the most recognizable form of bitumen extraction; large shovels are used to excavate the oil sands deposits located close to the earth’s surface. In areas where surface mining has occurred, reclaiming an area that has been stripped of soil, wetlands, forests, and all associated biodiversity poses many challenges. Human footprint status is summarized for the Mineable Region.
As of 2016, human footprint occupied 25.13% of the Mineable Region. Energy was the dominant human footprint, covering 13.06% of the region, followed by urban/industrial footprint, which covered 6.95%. Forestry and transportation footprint covered 3.85% and 0.82% of the region, respectively.
|Human Footprint Type||Area (km2)||Area (%)|
|Total Human Footprint||1,229||25.1|
|Human-created Water Bodies||22||0.5|
FIGURE: Summary of percentage cover of total human footprint broken down by human footprint category in the Mineable Region, circa 2016.